Tubing Ban Enacted for Boulder Creek

Thursday, May 29, 2014

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. - Sheriff Joe Pelle, in consultation with Interim Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa, has concluded that, in the interest of public safety, Boulder Creek will be closed to tubing and single chamber flotation devices for the immediate future. The closure will take effect immediately, and will encompass Boulder Creek from Barker Dam east of Nederland to the Weld County line, north of Erie. The closure includes the section of Boulder Creek that flows through the City of Boulder.  Sheriff's deputies and Boulder police officers will be posting notices today, advising recreationists of the closure.
The Sheriff is authorized to close the creek under Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) 33-13-111. The closure includes watercraft such as single chamber rafts, single chamber belly boats, and inner tubes from floating in the creek.  There is a specific exemption for kayaks and white water canoes, which are permitted; nonetheless, kayakers are strongly encouraged to observe caution. Violations of the closure are a class 2 petty offense and will result in a $50.00 fine.
Recent warm weather is promoting the melting of the snow pack, adding significantly to the amount of water flowing in the creek.  As of today, Boulder Creek was flowing at 723 and 800 cubic feet per second (CFS), and normally flows at a rate between 100 and 300 CFS.  Typically the ban of single chamber flotation devices (inner tubes) is initiated at 700 CFS.
The Sheriff and the Town of Lyons anticipate the closure of the St. Vrain River this weekend, as it is currently running at approximately 1043 CFS; the volume at which Emergency Services would initiate a closure is 1200 CFS. The Sheriff does not anticipate closing South Boulder Creek, as it is currently running at approximately 315 CFS through Eldorado Springs.

Commander Heidi Prentup
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

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